Local author Ron Singerton, who specializes in historical novels, sets his latest prior to and during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. In “A Cherry Blossom in Winter,” Singerton portrays the Russian aristocracy of Tsar Nicholas II as the ancient regime is threatened by incipient revolution. The decisive battle of the war, in which the Russian Navy is destroyed at the battle of Tsushima, ends Singerton’s historical novel with its varying romantic subplots. Photo is cover of Singerton’s book, courtesy of Singerton

Ron Singerton, a local resident, sets his well-researched novels in interesting historical periods — periods of systemic change and social upheaval.

With “A Cherry Blossom in Winter” (Penmore Press LLC 2017), Singerton visits a time in history when two powers, one emerging and one declining, are at odds over influence in Asia.

War looms as an expansionist Imperial Russia collides with a newly aggressive Imperial Japan over spheres of influence in Asia. Given the current struggles between the U.S. and China and the importance of the Korean peninsula in this competition, Singerton’s latest novel is full of historical parallels with today.

The book explores the rising tide of peasant revolt in Tsarist Russia and the cultural threat it poses to the nobility. A young naval cadet, son of a Tsarist emissary to Japan, accompanies his father to his new posting just as Russia is beginning to build a Trans-Siberian railway, expand its influence in Asia and secure a warm-water port for its navy.

The book, with romantic subplots, is well researched with accurate depictions of historic battles in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 — a war that culminates with the defeat of Russia and the emergence of a newly militaristic Imperial Japan. The destruction of the Russian navy at the conclusive battle of Tsushima is the beginning of the end of the Romanov dynasty and marks the beginning of expansionist winds that will lead Japan to attack Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Chanticleer Editorial Book Review’s review of “Cherry Blossom” states, “Singerton’s book does a great job in presenting this prewar time as one of both personal and national conflict. … By pulling in the geopolitics of the beginning of the last century, along with developments such as the introduction of Marxist ideology, the near-collapse of Russian court nobility, anti-Jewish pogroms, the mistreatment of Russian peasants, and widespread anti-Asian sentiment, the overall effect is a slow-build to the climatic and brutal naval battle [that ends the book].”

Singerton said he is developing a treatment to present to potential movie and television producers. He has been in contact with Scott Simon of National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” about a possible interview.

The book is available on Amazon and at www.Penmorepress.com. For more information, visit www.ronsingerton.com.